Sunday, September 11, 2011

One of our very first stops after arriving home on May 19, was a visit to our daughter Ann who was expecting her 4th child at any time.

I went upstairs and took this picture of the baby's room, so lovingly prepared by the expectant parents. They believe strongly that it will be a girl - can you tell?
Thursday, May 19, as we drove on from St. Johns toward Snowflake we were pleased to see storm clouds gathering and indications of rain for our thirsty ranch and forest lands.

It has been a long road to and from Virginia. It was good to be back in Arizona, the state we love so well. We have seen many wonderful sights and been blessed along the way with safety, friendship and protection. This land of America is such a choice and favored land. What a wonderful experience it has been to travel across it and experience its beauty and treasures, large and small.
In St. Johns we stopped long enough for me to take a picture of a building bearing Linda's maiden name: "Burnham." She says she is unaware of any connection of her family with this St. John's funeral home.
Thursday, May 19, we left the snow covered mountains and valleys near Ramah, New Mexico and continued west , through the Indian community of Zuni, crossing the Arizona border and taking US 191 to St. Johns, getting ever closer to our Snowflake home, our journey's end!

Friday, September 9, 2011

We stopped in the village of Ramah long enough for a picture of the old Bond home, now standing vacant. This was the residence of my mother's oldest sister, Esther Burk and her husband, Marius Bond. While Marius cared for the cattle and horses and the other responsibilities of ranch life, Esther looked to the needs of her children and taught school. She was fluent in Navajo and the native tongue of the Zuni Indian children that attended school in Ramah. She was a dear Aunt for whom I had a deep love and regard. Her son Laverl, my same age, still resides in this community with his wife Mary. In this modern age of so much change it is good to know that some people stay where they were born and raised, happy and fulfilled.
At Grant's, on a whim, we turned south from the Interstate and took the road toward El Moro National Monument and Mormon pioneer community of Ramah. To our surprise and pleasure we found ourselves in a winter wonderland in the middle of May! A late Spring snowstorm had passed over this mountain range the night before.

What a pleasure us as we drove through this historic landscape with all its history for us and our pioneer heritage, covered with a fresh blanket of snow!
Thursday, May 19, was the final day of our Virginia Trip. After a overnight stay in Albuquerque we took I-40 toward Gallup.

New Mexico very properly calls itself the Land of Enchantment. It remains largely unchanged by man's mark.

This picture was taken as we drove west along I-40, east of Grant's.
Wednesday, May 18, we passed through dry and dusty Clovis, New Mexico at the Texas border and continued on toward Albuquerque.

We were back in the land of our nativity!

What a contrast these dry, wild and wide open spaces were to the wet, green and deeply forested environment of the southeastern States we had been experiencing just days ago.
Wednesday, May 18, after a night's stay in Lubbock, we made our way toward Clovis, New Mexico on US 84, saying our goodbyes to the Texas Panhandle.

This photo was taken as we traveled northwest from Lubbock, toward the New Mexico border.

We found east central New Mexico in equal need for moisture. It was dry, dry, dry!
Tuesday, May 17, we continued northwest from Lampasas, heading toward Lubbock, using the state highways. We drove through one small farming and ranching town after another.

This photo, taken as we drove through a small town north of Lampasas, is typical of what we saw mile after mile; a land suffering from lack of rain.
May 15, we stopped for the night in Beaumont, Texas. This was our last stop on US 90 as we wanted to avoid the congestion of the Houston area, directly to the west.

The next morning, Monday, May 16, we struck off along Texas highway 105 for Lampasas, some 300 plus miles to the north and west. The route we would be traveling would take us through the heartland of this great state. We didn't know it then, but we would be driving through a drought-ridden land, so starved for rain, the further we got from the gulf.

This picture was taken as we drove west along Texas 105 out of Beaumont, toward Lampasas, where we would find another lodging for the night.
This is a view of the catwalk that extended out from the Visitor's Center at the Louisiana/Texas border on US 90, giving visitors opportunity for close-up looks at the birds, reptiles and other wildlife that make this interesting place their home.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yes, there just below us is a friendly Texas alligator, awaiting his breakfast. We took this picture as we walked along the elevated walkway that extends out into this swampland from the Texas Visitor's Center located east of Beaumont on US90 at the Louisiana border. We also saw some turtles moving about and a number of water fowl.
Saturday, May 14, we stopped at a very nice Visitor's Center as we crossed the border into Texas on US 90. This Visitor's Center is built on the edge of a large swamp. Walkways extend out into the swamp for considerable distance to give visitors the opportunity of getting a close-up view of the habitat and wild creatures that dwell in these plant-filled waters.

Just to make it clear, the fellow in the white T-shirt is a tourist, not a swamp creature.
Saturday morning, May 14, traveling west along US 90 from Morgan City, Louisiana, we noticed we were more and more in open farming country as we approached the Texas border. In fact, I remarked to Linda as we drove along that it seemed like we were on one of the farm roads outside Chandler, Arizona, it looked so similar.
Friday, May 13, we stopped for the night in Morgan City, Louisiana. Before our arrival in Morgan City, we stopped at one of the many cemeteries to take this picture. Here, in this part of the country the ground water is so close to the surface that the dead are buried above ground.
While driving about in the lovely town of Thibodaux, Louisiana, Linda asked if I would inquire at a famous Bed and Breakfast inn to find out what it cost and get a look inside. I was warmly greeted by the owner and his wife. They were happy to escort me about the rooms, even taking me upstairs for a look at the Presidential Suite. It was sort of overwhelming, like being in a palace. One night's stay in this place can run well over $500. We thanked them kindly and continued on our way.
On Friday, May 13, as we continued west across Louisiana, we took a short side trip through historic Thibodaux. This is typical of the homes you see in this lovely community.
The old neighborhoods of these Southern communities are lined with magnificent trees, lives oaks and other varieties we cannot identify but only admire. This was taken as we were trying to find our way out of New Orleans. Perhaps you can see the old trolley car approaching on the far side of the median.
Friday, May 13, we also missed another turn-off as we traveled near the gulf, but it gave us the opportunity of stopping at Visitor's Center near a freeway interchange to re-chart our course. While there, Linda walked among the flowering plants and foliage that surround the center. She loved seeing another Magnolia tree up close and wanted to smell the blossoms.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

After losing our way for a time in New Orleans we finally came upon the side of a huge levy and following it for a time we came to the old Huey Long Memorial Bridge that spans the Mississippi River. Finally! I was much relieved for us to be able to cross this bridge and to find to my surprise and relief that we were back on highway 90 and continuing on our way along the beautiful gulf area of Louisiana. This is the afternoon of Friday the 13th - no wonder I had bad luck! But, then too, we finally had good luck to find our way across and back on our preferred roadway.
While trying to find our way to a bridge that would take us across the Mississippi at New Orleans we noticed this old street car, still in operation. We think we were in the western part of the city at this point, pretty much lost!
Because of my concern for the flood of water coming down the Mississippi, threatening New Orleans and other cities along the lower river, we did not pause at all in this very unique and interesting city. I wanted to get across the river. We did take a couple of pictures as we passed through the city. We lost our way, missing US 90, and we wandered through some of the French Quarter, looking for our highway.

Here is a typical place of entertainment we noted as we drove along. This is Friday, May 13.

When we crossed over the bridge on Friday morning, May 13 onto this narrow stretch of land that extends east from the City of New Orleans between Lake Ponchartrain and the Gulf, we found the homes are all built up on stilts, giving visual testimony to the threat of high water that can so easily overwhelm this beautiful but insecure bit of sand.
This Friday the 13th we could see the storm rolling off the Gulf inland as we left the area of Biloxi, Mississippi and made our entry into Louisiana, still on highway 90. Before crossing Lake Ponchartrain on this wonderful bridge we had to stop and take a picture. These are scenes that are very unusual for us, so much water! Oh, my!
Friday, May 13, we departed Ocean Springs and crossed a beautiful bridge that took us over Biloxi Bay and then drove west on US 90 for several miles along an extended beachfront that allowed to look out upon the Gulf of Mexico. There was little or no activity on this public beach, perhaps due to some repairs being in made in places along the highway. A storm was rolling in, across the Gulf and the sky and sea were spectacular for these two desert dwellers.
Thursday night, May 12, we stopped for the night in the city of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, just east across the bay from Biloxi. Acting on a recommendation from our hotel clerk we drove to a restaurant near the water and had a nice meal, and then drove about this seaside town, looking at the sights.

Here are some of the many small fishing boats that can be seen as we drove along the waterfront.
Thursday, May 12, we departed northern Florida, staying near the gulf coast on highway 90. As we passed through Mobile, Alabama we saw what we believed to be the battleship, USS Alabama, docked in the harbor at Mobile Bay.
Wednesday, May 11, we continued south from Brunswick, Georgia on US 17, into Jacksonville, Florida. We did not stop in Jacksonville, but turned west onto US 90, stopping for the night, west of Tallahassee,in the small community of Quincy, FL.

This photo was taken of one of the many lovely homes we drove past as we traveled through this part of the Florida panhandle.
Tuesday evening, May 10, having passed through Savannah, its bridges and harbor, we found lodging in the coastal city of Brunswick, Georgia. A beautiful bridge allowed us to drive out to an Island where we ate our dinner at one of the many seafood places near the water. Afterward, we walked out onto a public wharf where we could get a better view of Brunswick Bay and the Lighthouse that graces this beautiful Island community. Linda wouldn't allow me to take her picture but she was happy to take mine!
Tuesday, May 10, somewhere south of Charleston on US 17 we stopped at this old country store. We had seen one like it earlier and decided to stop and take a look. The young female proprietor was very pleasant to talk with. She said she had been very active in women's softball in the past, but was now tied to this store. We were her only customers while we were there, so it seemed like days could get long, waiting for passing motorists to stop in. We bought some Black Cherry cider. It was very good. She consented to let us take her picture in front of the store as we departed.
This is one of the many Magnolia trees on the grounds of the Magnolia Plantation outside Charleston, SC. After taking a number of photos on these beautiful grounds and gardens we returned to US 17 and continued on this Tuesday morning, May 10, on our journey on down the South Carolina coast towards Savannah, Georgia.
This is the entrance to one of the oldest plantations in South Carolina, the "Magnolia Plantation," located about 10 miles west of Charleston. We drove in and then out, not stopping. We did have our first close look at a Magnolia tree.
Tuesday, May 10, before leaving the area of Charleston, SC, after departing our hotel that morning we followed some road signs directing us to some historic, old plantations that are open to the public. We drove through the grounds of two of these lovely places, but decided not to stop and pay for a tour. It really was a brief look into the type of life experienced by pre-civil war Southern aristocracy. We wish we could have taken more time to see it.
Monday, May 9, after a short visit to the beach at Wilmington, NC we continued our journey, south, on US 17, crossing into South Carolina. We drove through the famous summer resort city of Myrtle Beach with its miles of ocean front hotels, restaurants and other attractions, but didn't stop until we were on the outskirts and found this seafood restaurant called "Saltwater Oak," with its great oak tree covered with our first sight of Spanish moss. A group of women were gathered in the establishment for lunch and board games (Cribbage? - we didn't know). We had a nice meal and then continued on down the beautiful coastline of South Carolina, finally stopping for the night in Charleston.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday morning, May 6, we loaded our car with those things stored with Sue and Elmer last June, and said our goodbyes to this dear couple who have become such close friends. They have treated us with such kindness. Our visit to Virginia was much more than we could have hoped. We made last minute visits to Gloria Craig at her home in Bedford, and to Floyd Hille at the rest home. We couldn't get around to see others who we missed on Sunday. We had to make some phone calls.
Our first day's journey took us back to the Atlantic sea coast, staying the night in Chesapeake. We wanted to make our way down the coast and through the deep south before returning home.
This picture was taken of the beach front at Wilmington, North Carolina where we stayed Saturday and Sunday nights. We were blessed to attend Sacrament meeting in the Wilmington 2nd Ward Sunday morning.
The Raleigh Temple is one of the smaller, but most beautiful of the newer temples built by the church; bringing the blessings of the temple closer to the members.
It takes a full day for church members in the Roanoke Virginia Stake to attend either the Raleigh or the Washington DC temple.
On Wednesday, the day following our return from Williamsburg and Jamestown, a group from the Bedford Branch journied down to the Raliegh North Carolina Temple and participated in performing baptisms for the dead. Several of these were brand new members making their first visit to the temple.
It was a delight to be with them on this special day.
Elmer and Sue visit with the Jamestown blacksmith, who was busy, making a knifeblade for use in skinning and cutting up wild game.
At Jamestown, the visitor gets to walk about this re-creation of the original Jamestown settlement with its houses, church, shops and fortress. Here, as in Colonial Williamsburg, persons dressed in period costume, going about their various tasks, give a feeling of actually being back in time with these courageous, earliest colonists.
Part of the Jamestown experience for visitors is to see and climb about on these replicas of the sea going vessels that carried Jamestown settlers from England to these shores of the new world.
From Colonial Williamsburg and the William and Mary campus, we visited America's first colonial settlement, Jamestown, located on the shores of the James River where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
This is a representation of the type of dwellings of the native Indians of that time and place (1600's).
Fast friends, Jefferson and Chapman, taking a break from their studies
Elmer and Sue escorted us from Colonial Williamsburg onto the nearby campus of William & Mary University. We were able to enter several of the buildings, like this one, where they labored over their sudies so many years ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is the historic capitol building of colonial Virginia, located here in Williamsburg. It was here in this very building that Patrick Henry arose and denounced the British Stamp Act, uttering those famous words, "give me liberty, or give me death!"

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This young man etertained and the other guests as we had lunch in one of the famous old taverns in Colonial Williamsburg. He had a very sharp wit, inquiring into the origins of those in the room and then making clever commentary, as if from the perspective of the time, whether from Pennsylvania, the land of Franklin ("keep'em there!"), or when Linda responded, "Arizona." He looked at her in mock surprise, then said, "Ah, yes, the Spanish!" We enjoyed him, as we did all the costumed persons we encountered.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This is just one of the many carriages and other horse drawn conveyances we saw as we walked about Colonial Williamsburg.

Two of Williamsburg's unruly citizen's, found guilty of some petty crime and placed in the stocks in the public square as punishment. One appears to be trying to break out!

Yes, as you can see, there are some individuals walking the streets of Colonial Williamsburg who are not in proper dress for the period. These two look very much like tourists!